raise tax revenue by not extending the current obama cut in payroll taxes. but the republican plan still refuses to raise the top income tax rates. yesterday, treasury secretary tim geithner made it clear that there can be no deal without higher top tax rates. >> last question, can you promise that we will not go over the cliff? >> no, i can't promise that. that's a decision that lies in the hands of the republicans that are now opposing increases in tax rates. if they recognize the reality that we can't afford to extend those tax rates, then we have a basis for the agreement and that's going to be the responsible thing to do and my judgment is they are going to do it. >> joining me now, ezra klein, huffington post, ryan grim. ezra, what do you make of the boehner proposal that was kind of cribbed from erskine bowles? >> two things. one, republicans are terrified about by the polls showing that they are going to immediately get blamed if they are not willing to compromise. the reason you initiate the bowles' plan is you say, look, they are going along with the former chief of staff said.